Poured concrete retaining walls can be colored, textured, accented with embedded objects and much more. When installed properly, concrete offers much more room for customization than any other retaining wall material. … If the wall exceeds four feet in height, footings should be poured separately. Allow concrete to cure.
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What are the four basic types of retaining wall?

  • Gravity Retaining Wall. The most basic of retaining walls, the gravity retaining wall uses sheer weight and mass to hold the soil at bay. …
  • Cantilevered Retaining Wall. …
  • Sheet Piling Retaining Wall. …
  • Anchored Retaining Wall.
How long will a concrete retaining wall last?

A permanent retaining wall can last between 25 to 100 years, depending on the material, soil, and groundwater. But consider the type of material used to construct a retaining wall and any necessary maintenance needed for the structure’s longevity and performance.

What is the strongest type of retaining wall?

Concrete and Masonry Retaining Walls Poured concrete is the strongest and most durable choice for retaining walls. It may also be carved and formed to look like mortared stone depending on your taste.

How thick should a poured concrete retaining wall be?

Rules of thumb commonly used by designers to establish the geometry of the wall include (refer to diagram): Base width = 1/2 to 1/3 of the height of the wall. Base thickness = 1/8 of the height of the wall but not less than 12 inches. Stem thickness = 6 inches + ¼ inch for each foot of wall height.

How do you rebar a concrete wall?

Rebar Placement in Walls As a minimum, #4 rebar (1/2 inch) is spaced vertically at 36 inches on center, continued to within 8 inches of the top of the wall, placed on the tension side — the inside face — of the wall.

What is the cheapest type of retaining wall?

The cheapest type of retaining wall is poured concrete. Prices start at $4.30 per square foot for poured concrete, $5.65 for interlocking concrete block, $6.15 for pressure-treated pine, and about $11 for stone.

How high can a gravity retaining wall be?

Gravity walls can be small (under 4-feet high) or go upwards to ten feet without reinforcement. Municipalities usually require a building permit for walls taller than 4 feet.

How do you measure for a retaining wall?

Multiply the length and adjusted height measurement to determine the square footage of the retaining wall. Multiply the square footage number by 144 to find the size of the wall in square inches.

How deep should retaining wall foundations be?

All footings should be a minimum of 150mm (6″) in depth, with the bottom 350 – 400mm (14-16″) below ground level on most soils. For clay soil however, thicker and deeper footings should be used.

Can you build a retaining wall on concrete?

While you can build a retaining wall on concrete, it isn’t that straightforward. If you have an existing concrete base, you cannot just build your wall on top of it. Without being secured into the concrete, your wall will slide due to the soil pressure against the wall.

Does a retaining wall need a footing?

A buried structural footing is usually required for larger retaining walls. To create this, a landscaper pours concrete below frost level (the depth to which the ground will freeze during the winter). Footings poured too shallow are prone to shifting and moving if moisture in the soil freezes and heaves.

How much weight can a retaining wall hold back?

Even small retaining walls have to contain enormous loads. A 4-foot-high, 15-foot-long wall could be holding back as much as 20 tons of saturated soil.

Do retaining walls need rebar?

A retaining wall must provide a way to release the water that builds up in the slope behind it. … Retaining walls must be stronger than freestanding walls. Insert rebar in the footing when you pour it; this should be done at every three blocks or at intervals specified by your local codes.

Are weep holes required on retaining wall?

Retaining walls allow steep, unusable slopes to be avoided. … There are several ways to prevent water from building up behind a retaining wall. Weep holes should be drilled through the wall. Weep holes allow water to escape from behind the wall.

How deep and wide do footings need to be for a retaining wall?

Footings for Dry-Stacked Wall To construct a footing for a dry-stacked retaining wall, excavate a trench that is 5 to 7 inches deep plus 1 inch for every 8 inches of planned wall height.

How thick should concrete walls be?

As a practical consideration, residential designers need to keep in mind that concrete foundation walls are typically 6, 8 or 10 inches thick (nominal). The typical concrete compressive strength used in residential construction is 2,500 or 3,000 psi, although other strengths are available.

How far apart is rebar in concrete?

Place rebar in a grid pattern with a spacing between bars of approximately 12 inches. In either case, blocks should be used under the reinforcement to keep centered within the concrete.

Do poured concrete walls need rebar?

In general, rebar in residential construction needs to have 3 inches of concrete cover or separation from soil when the concrete for footings and pads is poured against soil and if poured against forms, 1½ inch. If formed concrete not exposed to earth or weather like in slabs and walls, then ¾ of an inch is required.

What can I use instead of a retaining wall?

  • Reinforced Soil Slopes.
  • Natural Stone Walls.
  • Wooden Timbers.
  • Gabion Walls.
  • Soil Bioengineered Walls.
How much should I charge to build a retaining wall?

On average, building a retaining wall costs $23 per square foot. For the more budget-conscious, retaining wall prices average at $19 per square foot. On the upper end, retaining wall costs are around $50 per square foot.

How much does a boulder retaining wall cost?

Installing boulder walls is fairly simple compared to segmental concrete retaining walls because each 3-foot to 4-foot boulder can be set with equipment, while blocks have to be stacked by hand. For this reason, the cost of boulder retaining walls can range from $25 per face foot to $55 per face foot.

How far apart do retaining walls need to be?

When the retaining walls are spaced far enough apart they are engineered as two independent walls. The height of the upper retaining wall should be less than or equal to the height of the lower wall. The distance between the retaining walls must be at least twice the height of the lower wall.

How close to property line can I build a retaining wall?

Some places allow the wall to be built 2 feet away from a boundary. Others may require it to be 3 feet away from the boundary, and still, others will allow the wall to be built right on the line. The only way to know for sure is to contact your city council or relevant city officials.

WHY DO Retaining walls fail?

A retaining wall will fail when it is unable to withstand the force on it created by the soil behind it. … Water is heavy, and as it builds up in the soil behind the wall the force acting on the wall dramatically increases. At some point, that force may exceed the capacity of the wall and cause the wall to fail.

Do I need building regs for a retaining wall?

Independent, freestanding retaining walls may not require building regulation approval; however, any structures must be structurally sound and well maintained. … Where a retaining wall is near to a boundary, it may be subject to the provisions of the Party Wall Act, and may be required to continue a right of support.

How thick should concrete footings be?

The minimum thickness for pier footings is 8 inches or 1-1/2 times the length of the footing projection from the pier, whichever is greater. (HORIZONTAL). Reinforce footings when the projection on each side of the wall, pier, or column exceeds 2/3 of the footing thickness, or when required because of soil conditions.

Does a 4 foot retaining wall need drainage?

The design and performance of most retaining walls are based on keeping the area behind the wall relatively dry. … Any reinforced wall or walls over 4 ft. (1.2 m) in height or with slopes or other surcharges above the wall will need a toe drain.

How much weight can a concrete wall hold?

Non-reinforced concrete or concrete masonry products generally are only 1/10th as strong in tension than in compression. That means that if a concrete wall is rated for 3,500 pounds per square inch in compression, it will only be able to withstand 350 pounds per square inch when subjected to a tension force.

Should I use landscape fabric behind retaining wall?

Landscape fabric is thin and sturdy and is a simple way to preserve a retaining wall’s construction. Dig a 6- to 8-inch wide trench immediately behind the retaining wall with a shovel. Dig slowly and carefully to avoid putting added pressure on the wall and causing it to topple over. … Backfill the trench will gravel.